Freeport 815-235-2111 — Galena 779-214-0461 — Galena Territory 815-777-3100

If you are considering purchasing a home in the city limits of Freeport, you may be able to qualify for a grant.

In order to be eligible for the grant money, the home must be unoccupied. You must be able to meet the eligibility requirements, including income limits. Depending on your income, the grant includes $3,000 to $5,000 in down payment assistance and up to $20,000 in rehabilitation money. The home must be in reasonably good condition so the repairs do not exceed the money available for rehab.

If the home needs a roof or new furnace and new floor coverings and paint, you may be able to do all that for under $20,000. If the home needs new windows, a new furnace, new plumbing, new wiring, a new roof or a new kitchen, it probably is not a good candidate for this program.

You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for the grant, but you do need to occupy the property. If you live in the home for at least five years, and the loan will be forgiven. This is not the program for someone that is looking to flip a property. It is intended to encourage owner/occupants to purchase vacant inventory and upgrade them rather than have them remain empty and fall into disrepair.

There are a good number of vacant homes on the market right now, and not all are foreclosures or bank-owned properties. Sometimes the owner has bought another home before his or her current one sold, and it is sitting empty. These types of homes would still qualify for the grant money.

Besides having to meet income guidelines, you will also need to take a homebuyer education class. The class is available online, so you do not need to attend in person. In order to obtain the grant money, you will need to get pre-approved for a mortgage through a local lender. After you have your pre-approval, you will need to fill out an application with the city and then take your homebuyer class.

This is a great program for homebuyers who need a little extra help coming up with a down payment or don’t have extra funds available to complete repairs or renovations. Remember that the house must be vacant to qualify, but this is a great program with funds still available.

For more information, contact Kim Ellingson with the city of Freeport at 815-599-5810.


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